The Power of Evil in Shakespeare’s Othello

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Othello by William Shakespeare is a story about an African general in Cyprus that falls in love and marries a white senator’s daughter and then is manipulated by evil to kill her. Shakespeare is teaching that the nature of evil is to manipulate and destroy people’s lives.Shakespeare is saying that the power of evil is to manipulate people. Iago is talking to Othello about his wife. “look to your wife observe her well with Cassio wear your eye thus not jealous nor secure”(3.3.194) Iago is manipulating Othello by telling him that Desdemona has something to do with Cassio and to keep an eye on her but not to take action. This is important because it is an example of evil manipulating people and making them turn on each other. Evil will manipulate people into doing things they don’t want to do and make it seem like it is right what they are doing. We can see it in our present with terrorist thinking they are doing good by killing innocent people when in reality they are not. Another example is when Iago is talking to himself about his plans to destroy Othello. ”After some time to abuse Othello’s ear …the moor is of a free and open nature and will as tenderly be led by the nose as assess are”(1.3.386) Iago is saying that after manipulating Othello he will lead him into doing what he wants him to do. This is good example of how evil will manipulate people and gain their trust and lead them the wrong way the way evil wants them to go. Evil manipulates people so well that it blindfolds them so they don’t see all the bad they are doing in reality.

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Shakespeare is teaching that’s the motivation of evil is power. An example of this is when Iago is speaking to himself of what he will do. “Do well thrive by them and when they have lined up their coats do themselves homage these such a one do I profess myself”(1.1.53) Iago is saying that there is people who serve their masters until they make a profit and then leave and that he is one of those persons .This is important because it shows evils motivation is power because when you have money you feel like you are in power. Another example is when Iago is talking about his motivation for killing Othello.


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